Residents Handbook

Emma Kegan made this Freedom of Information request to St Mary's University, Twickenham

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Waiting for an internal review by St Mary's University, Twickenham of their handling of this request.

Dear Sir,

Can I please make a new freedom of information request? As I stated in my "special dispensation" FOIA reply.

Can you please publish a copy of the Residents Handbook 2019/2020 (If I remember correctly it was a comprehensive document that referenced things like 3rd party rights which I'm not sure many 19 year old UK students know about).

I don't have a copy of this, but do remember page 6 stating:

"You may also want to bring some of your own personal items with you such as a TV or photos, to make you feel more at home"

Also, can you please provide me with St Mary's University insurance policy held with endsleigh insurance company, as I want to establish what "status" St Mary’s University insure their properties as.

Not part of the FOIA request, however, it might be helpful if you told me whether St Mary's University class their student accommodation as a students home for the term of the licence agreement.

Yours sincerely,

Emma Kegan

Freedom of Information, St Mary's University, Twickenham

Dear Madam

Please see the following link for the 2019/2020 handbook ( ). I would advise downloading the pdf contained within the link as the University does update its website and this may be removed in due course due to it being for the previous academic year and is therefore now outdated.

I am currently checking what policy we use to cover University accommodation.

In relation to your question relating to whether the accommodation is classed as a home for the term of the licence agreement the term "home" could be considered emotive with a broad meaning. The accommodation handbook describes the student's bedroom as "your space where you can relax, study or socialise". It is for students to decide how often and whether they consider their accommodation to be home for the duration of their licence or if it is somewhere that they use less frequently. Their main obligation is to use it in accordance with the licence agreement.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Browning
University Secretary and Head of Governance
Office of the Vice Chancellor
St Mary’s University, Waldegrave Road, TW1 4SX
020 8240 4267
07970 531112
[email address]

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Dear Sir,

Thank you for your reply and publishing the residents handbook. It's noted that you have omitted the word 'residents'.

It's rather baffling that you have omitted 'residents' and then gone on to claim the term "home" could be considered emotive with a broad meaning. 

'Resident' is descriptive, isn't it, is that why it has been omitted from your reply to the request for the residents handbook?

I look forward to receiving your policy documents that I have requested.

Yours sincerely,

Emma Kegan

Emma Kegan left an annotation ()

St Mary's University FOI officer has omitted the word 'residents' from my request for the 'residents handbook' that university students have to comply with.

I'll leave you to decide if there is a fair amount of obfuscation going on here.

Dear Sir,

My apologies for the second mail.

It's vitally important that St Mary's University acknowledge your own documents by their correct name. If there are more handbooks for accommodation can you please publish those or clarify that the 'University Managed Accommodation
Residents’ Handbook 2019/2020' is the only handbook for student accommodation currently in circulation?

Yours sincerely,

Emma Kegan

Dear Mr. Browning,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of St Mary's University, Twickenham's handling of my FOI request 'Residents Handbook'.

On the 1st January 2021 St Mary's University CEO Jo Blunden sent an email to all students. It contained this link

The link has a headline stating:

Latest: Plans for Students Self Isolating in Halls of Residence
Update from Jo Blunden, Chief Operating Officer, St Mary’s University.

"Your home away from home should feel safe and comfortable".

One clearly sees here that Ms. Jo Blunden makes a very clear reference that St Mary's Halls of Residence is a students home.

You state in your reply to my FOI request on the 16th December 2020 (above):

"In relation to your question relating to whether the accommodation is classed as a home for the term of the licence agreement the term "home" could be considered emotive with a broad meaning".

Do you now consider that you are being disingenuous in your response to my FOI request in an attempt to evade section 6.1 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 which states:
6.—(1) During the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse. And this is an attempt to unlawfully charge students for Halls of Residence up to the 8th April 2020 when they were told to vacate their rooms prior to the 23rd March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic?

In short, St Mary's Halls of Residence is a students home for the term of their licence agreement, isn't it?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:

Yours faithfully,

Emma Kegan